Fact check: Trump utters series of false and misleading claims at coronavirus briefing

Not fake news. Not the enemy of the American people.

“Nobody ever thought a thing like this could have happened,” said the the president at Thursday’s press event.

Feb 27: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” [Narrator: “Cases were not going down.”]
Feb 26: “The 15 [documented cases of COVID-19 in the USA] within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” [Narrator: “It was not.”]
Feb 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.” [Narrator: “It was not.”]
Feb 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” [Narrator: “They did not.”]
Jan 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” [Narrator: “It was not.”]
May 2018: The White House disbands a disbanded a dedicated pandemic response team. (When a reporter asked him about it Feb 13, Trump said “I just think that’s a nasty question.” [Narrator: “It was a perfectly legitimate question.”] He said “I didn’t do it.” The reporter, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, pointed out “It’s your administration.” Trump’s responses included “I don’t know anything about that,” “You know, people let people go” and “You know, things like that happen.” (As Alcindor reporter tried to follow up with another question, her microphone was cut off by White House staff.)

Also at Thursday’s press event, Trump said “People don’t want to close” and “People want to go back to work. I’m hearing it loud and clear from everybody,” without offering any support for his claims. (Narrator: “A recent Fox poll says 75% of Americans favor ‘a national stay-in-place order,’ which is the opposite of what Trump said.”)


Thomas Jefferson: “[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”